Cynthia Sayer | "Cynthia" Vol 1 & 2 Reissue Recordings, Featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Wellstood, & Milt Hinton

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Retro Swing Moods: Type: Acoustic
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"Cynthia" Vol 1 & 2 Reissue Recordings, Featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Wellstood, & Milt Hinton

by Cynthia Sayer

Award-winning recording debut of celebrated jazz banjoist & vocalist Cynthia Sayer with legendary artists Pizzarelli, Wellstood & Hinton, playing swinging Hot Jazz from the 1920s & 30s plus a couple of jaunty Ragtime pieces, in quartet and duo format
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Doin' the New Low Down
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3:13 album only
2. When I Leave the World Behind
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2:49 album only
3. Swing 42
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3:05 album only
4. Georgia Rainbow
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3:48 album only
5. Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Love
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3:40 album only
6. Chinatown, My Chinatown
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3:54 album only
7. Pastime Rag No. 4
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2:43 album only
8. Once in a While
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2:43 album only
9. What'll I Do
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3:27 album only
10. Blues (My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me)
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3:21 album only
11. Oh, Baby! (Don't Say No, Say Maybe)
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3:11 album only
12. Digga Digga Doo
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2:38 album only
13. I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
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4:00 album only
14. Swing 39
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3:35 album only
15. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
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3:09 album only
16. Someone to Watch Over Me
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4:12 album only
17. Lover, Come Back to Me
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4:21 album only
18. Strut Miss Lizzie
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3:35 album only
19. In the Dark
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3:24 album only
20. Chevy Chase
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4:25 album only
21. Exactly Like You
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2:38 album only
22. Indian Sagwa
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2:11 album only
23. I Love to Sing for People When They Talk
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3:09 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Two albums for the price of one! This extra-long playing CD is a reissue of internationally acclaimed banjoist/vocalist Cynthia Sayer's first two albums put together. Originally titled "The Jazz Banjo Of Cynthia Sayer (Vol 1)" featuring Milt Hinton & Dick Wellstood, and "More Jazz Banjo (Vol 2)" featuring Bucky Pizzarelli & Dick Wellstood, both of these albums grabbed international intention upon their release. Both recordings were also selected by CADENCE MAGAZINE as a "Top-10 Classic Jazz Release" for their release year.

* * * * *
While many people who are into jazz are always looking for the next newest thing (perhaps you), there are also people (perhaps you) who listen to jazz of the past and get transported to that place and time, or at least what is thought of as how things were then. In other words, the music, which was a part of the culture of the time, recreates the essence of that era in which it was played.

There are some performers, however, who for some reason connect so well with the past that their music feels totally authentic. Cynthia Sayer is one of those artists.

In listening to Cynthia - The Reissue Recordings, there is no mistaking that here is a performer who is totally inside the style, somehow living and breathing its very essence. Sayer is a consummate performer, not only playing a very sharp four-string banjo, but also singing with a voice that will melt all but the hardest of hearts.

These performances come from twenty years ago, and one can only imagine how a young performer making her first recording must have felt to be able to play with Milt Hinton, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Dick Wellstood. Hinton, born in 1910, actually worked with many of greatest performers in the '20s and '30s. Wellstood (who died shortly after these sessions) is acknowledged as one of the supreme masters of stride piano and the music of that time. Pizzarelli is one of the preeminent swing guitarists living today. Together, they provide an extremely solid backdrop for Sayer's enthusiasm.

The point here is not the mere recreation of a dead style, but the expression of the very soul of a person who comes alive through this music. “Classic” or traditional jazz has two main characteristics. The first is that for the most part, it is tied to the song or tune. Thousands of well-crafted tunes form the bedrock of jazz through the Swing Era. Whether it is played or sung, the tune sets the mood, and the words inform the improvisers. Many of the tunes played have an harmonic structure that places it in time, as does the kind of rhythmic treatment it receives. The second one is that recording technology limited performances to about three minutes, so there was no “stretching out.”

This release is made up of 23 tracks totaling 77 minutes, so the average track length is about three and a half minutes. Nothing feels rushed, however, since everyone involved is used to this aesthetic. Wellstood does so many things so perfectly that it is a joy to listen. For example, on “When I leave The World Behind,” he plays the right chords behind Sayer in her rubato intro. Then when the tune takes off for the banjo solo, he fills in the spaces between the banjo phrases with answers, and many times plays subtle counterpoint under everyone. His short solo is a textbook example of economy.

Pizzarelli is heard mostly on the second set, and also is simply wonderful, especially on “Someone to Watch Over Me.” He starts out with a beautiful melody chord rendition, then provides counterpoint to Sayer’s banjo melodic declamation and finally is the sole accompanist to Sayer’s exquisite vocal. Sayer's banjo playing is very solid, both in single note and chordal solos, but it is her voice that makes her a total package.

This release might just be the perfect introduction to the jazz of the twenties and thirties. Sayer lives it, loves it, and is a superb communicator. Highly recommended.
--ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Budd Kopman

CYNTHIA personnel:

Cynthia Sayer - banjo, vocals, arrangements
Dick Wellstood - piano
Bucky Pizzarelli - guitar
Milt Hinton - string bass
Greg Cohen - string bass
Fred Stoll - drums

Cynthia Sayer's hot, swingy style will shatter any stereotypes you might have of jazz banjo. Praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by the NEW YORK TIMES, she is regarded as one of the top 4-string banjoists worldwide. Her vocal and arranging talents are the icing on the cake. Cynthia is a founding member of Woody Allen's New Orleans Jazz Band with whom she played and toured for over 10 years. Her solo career has taken her well beyond these New Orleans roots as a dynamic instrumentalist, vocalist, bandleader and performer, whose eclectic, swing-based recordings and shows embody the rarely heard versatility of the 4-string banjo.

"Cynthia" Personnel:
Cynthia Sayer - banjo, vocals, arrangements
Bucky Pizzarelli - guitar
Dick Wellstood - piano
Milt Hinton - string bass
Greg Cohen - string bass
Fred Stoll - percussion

Here's a small sample of what the critics say about Cynthia:

"Miss Sayer finds lively banjo harmonies and provocative phrasing ... a rare jazz banjoist."
THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Sayer is considered to be among a small group at the top of the jazz banjo world."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Versatile Cynthia Sayer picks an expert banjo, strums a steady guitar, and sings with swing and charm. She is one of a kind."
DICK HYMAN

"One of the best jazz banjo players in the world."
THE GOLD COAST BULLETIN (Australia)

"Cynthia Sayer almost made the applause meter explode ... Her swingy playing catches you from the start, and her sense of showmanship is present at every second."
LA DÉPECHE (France)



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